“Without Discipline, There Is No Progress”

“Without Discipline, There Is No Progress”
Vol: 36 Issue: 19 Sunday, September 19, 2004

Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the recent attack on a school in Belsan as a springboard from which he can consolidate his hold on power in Russia in a way not seen since the dying days of the Soviet Union.

More than four hundred and thirty Russians have been killed in terrorist attacks since the middle of August.

Even as the dead were being buried in Beslan, Putin called for sweeping changes in Russia’s electoral system, demanding the right to appoint the governors of Russia’s 89 federal regions, now elected directly by voters.

Putin would also abolish direct election for representatives to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament already controlled by parties loyal to the Kremlin.

In a Sept. 4 address to the nation, Putin said his government “failed to react appropriately” to the challenges of terrorism and social division. “We displayed weakness, and the weak are beaten,” he said.

The US administration is trying to soft-pedal its response to Putin’s announcement that Russia was adopting a policy of preemptive strikes, since the United States has already done the same thing.

Secretary of State Powell, in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times last week, said, “We understand the need to go after these kinds of murderers and terrorists.”

But, he added, “at the same time, we felt it was important to say to our Russian friends — not as anything but a friend — that as you deal with this kind of terrorist threat, you have to be careful that you don’t do it in a way that starts to undercut democratic institutions.”

Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the death of the Soviet Union and the chaotic birth of the Russian Federation, criticized Putin’s recent moves in a commentary in a Moscow newspaper last week.

“Under the slogan of the war on terrorism, it is being proposed to sharply limit democratic freedoms, to deprive citizens of the opportunity to directly express their attitude toward the government in free elections,” he wrote.

Last week, the Russian Finance Ministry announced a major boost in funding for the government’s security and border-control agencies. Many of Putin’s top aides and political allies are drawn from the so-called “siloviki,” officials from Russia’s various security and intelligence agencies.

Putin’s harshest critics concede he enjoys a base of popular support that no other Russian politician can match. He cruised to a second four-year term in March with more than 70 percent of the vote.

Many Russians say the plain-speaking, low-key president is a welcome change from the hectic 1990s under Boris Yeltsin, when Russia’s economy was in a shambles and the country was still adjusting to the sudden loss of its superpower standing in the world.

Nikolai Belyaev, chief administrator for the central Russian town of Lebedyan, explained Putin’s uniquely Russian perspective on leadership, saying;

“Personally, I like having a strong personality in a leader, because discipline is a very important part of life. Without discipline, there is no progress.”

When he first came on the scene as prime minister in August, 1999, Western analysts and diplomats asked the question, “Who is Vladimir Putin?”

By Dec. 31, 1999 — three months in advance of elections, Boris Yeltsin resigned and Vladimir Putin assumed Russia’s top job.

The first and only warning the West had of what was soon to come was the incident at the Pristina Airport during the NATO war when Russian troops seized the airport, disobeying direct orders to the contrary issued by Boris Yeltsin himself.

Instead of backing down, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered Yeltsin a signed agreement protecting him from prosecution on corruption charges and guaranteed him a comfortable retirement.

The silent coup d’etat went off without a hitch.

Assessment:

That Putin was the man of the hour was apparent with the ease with which he restored discipline. Boris Yeltsin’s power began slipping away from him then, and by the end of the year it was all gone. The only thing left to do was cut the best deal he could and get out of Dodge.

Ezekiel 38 through 39 tells of a future invasion of Israel by a vast coalition of nations that surround it. As we read the headlines in the newspapers of today, and witness the conflict in the Middle East, it’s not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could be fulfilled in our lifetime.

Ezekiel 36-37 predicts a gathering of the Jews to the nation of Israel, which will be followed by this massive invasion. For 19 centuries the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until May 14, 1948 there was no nation of Israel to invade.

With the nation of Israel now a reality, the stage seems set.

The Russian bear continues its slide back into totalitarianism. Although the Beslan tragedy was perpetrated by Islamic Chechen rebels, it isn’t Islam that Russia has a problem with, it’s Chechnya.

Russia has more than 20 million Islamic citizens and there are a half-dozen Islamic majority states within the greater Russian Federation. So the fact that Chechnya’s rebels are majority Islamic is inconsequential, except as an excuse to crack down on the Chechens by hiding behind the global war on terror.

Russia continues to be the patron saint of the Islamic republic of Iran. It is heavily involved with the Islamic government in Sudan. The entire Arab Middle East is armed with Russian weapons, populated by Russian support technicians, and advised by Russian advisors.

There are those who believe the Russian crackdown on Islamic terror will eventually result in an anti-terror alliance that will include Washington, Jerusalem and Moscow. The Bible says differently.

Ezekiel says that Russia will eventually lead a vast Islamic alliance against Israel. Verse 13 indicates Russia’s invasion will take the West, including Saudi Arabia, (Sheba and Dedan) by surprise.

Tarshish is most commonly agreed to be ancient Tartessus or the area of present day Spain in Western Europe. In Ezekiel’s day, Tarshish was in the farthest west regions of the known world.

By referring to Tarshish and all her merchants, Ezekiel may be indicating that Western Europe will join with Saudi Arabia in denouncing the invasion. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab nation to consistently side with the West against radical Islamic elements around the world.

The royals of Saudi Arabia mostly side with the West out of an interest in self preservation, and at times oppose us behind the scenes, but they would most probably put on a show of opposition to radical Islam in order to maintain the support of western governments.

It isn’t that far-fetched. A similar alliance existed during the first Gulf War. The U.S., Western Europe, and Saudi Arabia were allied against Iraq, while Russia, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and most other Middle East nations either aligned with Iraq, or against the U.S. either by directly opposing it, or by remaining neutral.

As Russia cracks down on ‘Islamic terror’ — note its targets well. It isn’t the evils of Islam that disturb the Kremlin. It is the Chechen effort to break away (together with its massive oil wealth) from the Russian Federation that will feel the weight of the Kremlin’s heel, not the Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or Iran or secular Islamic states like Syria, Jordan or Egypt.

The Iranians, Paks, Syrians and the rest all know Russia’s war is against Chechen independence, and not Islam. There is an old saying in the Middle East to the effect that, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ When Russia does invade Israel, it will have plenty of Arab allies.

The first reason God gives for the invasion in Ezekiel 38 is a desire by the coalition to cover the Jewish land and wipe them off the face of the earth. Urged on by a hatred of the Jewish people they will seek to destroy them and the nation of Israel.

This is the stated goal today of almost every Islamic nation in the Middle East. The only Islamic nations not currently in a declared state of war with Israel are Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, yet they would certainly be glad to see Israel eliminated if presented with a willing leader and an opportunity to rid the Middle East of Islam’s archenemy.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

Tick. . . Tick . . . Tick . . .

UN Report: “The Beginning of Sorrows”

UN Report: “The Beginning of Sorrows”
Vol: 36 Issue: 18 Saturday, September 18, 2004

“Then said He unto them, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:10-11)

According to a new report issued September 17 but the United Nations disaster reduction agency, (UN/ISDR), there has been a global spike in world-wide natural catastrophes, as well as those of the man-made variety.

More than 254 million people were affected by natural hazards last year, a near three-fold jump from 1990, according to data released by the inter-agency secretariat.

And long-term trend over the past decade shows a steady rise in victims, according to the statistics from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at the University of Louvain in Belgium.

“Not only is the world globally facing more potential disasters, but increasing numbers of people are becoming vulnerable to hazards,” the UN/ISDR said in a statement.

Disasters ranging from storms, earthquakes and volcanoes to wildfires, droughts and landslides killed some 83,000 people in 2003 compared with about 53,000 deaths 13 years earlier, it noted.

In addition, storms and freak temperatures appear to be on the rise with 337 natural disasters reported in 2003, up from 261 in 1990, the agency said.

An onslaught of deadly hurricanes that have battered the southern United States support theories that such storms are occurring more frequently.

“Look at the number of hurricanes this year, it is hard to keep up with all the names,” said John Harding, a program officer at the UN/ISDR.

“The scientific community tells us that the intensity and frequency of disasters are very likely to increase in the medium-term due to climate change and that increase may well be occurring at this stage,” he told AFP.

The United Nations will hold a conference on disaster reduction in Kobe, Japan – itself hit by a devastating earthquake in 1995 – from January 18 to 22 to explore the issue.

Assessment:

When Jesus was describing the signs that would herald His return, He said, “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:7)

By themselves, these aren’t signs, they are merely restatements of the natural order of things, events common to the history of man.

Ethnic wars and wars between ‘kingdoms’, famines, pestilences and earthquakes all make their first appearances in the Book of Genesis.

But Jesus described these things using a very specific metaphor — that of a woman in labor. He said in verse 7, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

The word rendered ‘sorrows’ is ‘odin’ — which means, “the pain of childbirth, travail pan, or birth pangs.” Every parent who has ever lived could instantly grasp the meaning of this metaphor — that is why Jesus chose it. As the birth of a child approaches, the mother begins to experience labor pains, which, having once begun, continue to increase in both frequency and intensity as the moment of birth approaches.

Prospective parents in Jesus’ day did exactly what I did with each of my kids — timed the interval between the contractions. It was a carefully chosen metaphor designed to resonate with all people, of all cultures, in all generations.

But, to the generation to whom those signs were addressed, the meaning would be unmistakable. Since 1948, there has been a discernible uptick in the frequency of all these catastrophic events.

It was discernible, but it was also deniable, and so, until recently, it was framed as an issue of proponents of the global warming theory vs. opponents of the global warming theory.

Each side could produce its own statistics to disprove the other side, and the battle rages on — is global warming responsible for the increasingly violent global weather patterns? Or not? From the perspective of Bible prophecy, who cares?

In the early 90’s I used to regularly run into the same lady at Bible prophecy conferences. So often, in fact, that we nicknamed her the Earthquake Lady. She would come equipped with reams of information that ‘proved’ earthquakes are not increasing in either frequency or intensity. But they are.

Global warming opponents, armed with equally impressive reams of information, vociferously deny that there has been any unusual changes in global weather patterns, arguing instead that it is just part of a cycle.

Last year, astronomers were at a loss to explain why nine major solar eruptions occured during a two-week period in October during the middle of the nine-year solar ‘minimum’ season. There should be little to no solar activity until 2012 or later. Instead, scientists declared it the most turbulent periods of solar activity since 1940, during a solar maximum event.

Richard Willson, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, authored a study for Goddard Space Institute in which he concluded;

“Historical records of solar activity indicate that solar radiation has been increasing since the late 19th century. If a trend, comparable to the one found in this study, persisted throughout the 20th century, it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years.”

A report in the July ‘Science’ section of the New York Times predicts the Earth is perhaps 150 years into the collapse of the Earth’s magnetic field. The EU has even approved the deployment of a trio of new satellites, called ‘Swarm’.

The mission of ‘Swarm’ is to monitor the collapsing field to help scientists forecast when the compass needles will start pointing south.

A group of leading space scientists from NASA and universities in the US, Europe, Russia and Australia recently sent a letter pleading with the Australian government to rejoin the asteroid search seven years after that country had dropped out.

According to them, the odds of a catastrophic asteroid strike on the Earth sometime in the next century are about 1-in-5,000.

As I’ve noted before, through the centuries, through the Dark Ages, through the Reformation Period, up into the modern era, the asteroids have been out there, zipping through space, making their rounds through the solar system. But the odds are 1 in 5000 that a Doomsday Rock will hit us in the next 100 years?

The UN claims that we are witnessing, on an increasing scale in both frequency and intensity, earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilence. NASA continues to document the unexpected and unsettling changes in the sun’s solar flare cycles.

The European Union is monitoring the collapse of the Earth’s magnetic fields, while scientists from all countries are urgently searching the stars for killer asteroids.

Meanwhile, up and down the Atlantic seaboard, forecasters continue to worry about running out of letters in the alphabet before we run out of hurricanes.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. “

Everybody has a reason to explain why the sun is out of phase, why we should be scared to death of falling space rocks, or why the global weather patterns are growing increasingly unpredictable and violent.

‘Why’ isn’t important. What it all means, when taken together into the Big Picture for the last days, however, is of eternal importance.

“And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)

‘That You Sorrow Not, As Others Who Have No Hope’

‘That You Sorrow Not, As Others Who Have No Hope’
Vol: 36 Issue: 17 Friday, September 17, 2004

Yesterday, Hal called to inform me of the death of a colleague, whom we lovingly had nicknamed ‘the minor prophet, Joel’.

Joel was a wonderful spirit of a man, whose own life was wracked with pain as a consequence of living for many years with diabetes.

I will miss him greatly, but I know he eagerly anticipated meeting the Lord face-to-face and he embraced his final moments without fear.

I am comforted in knowing Joel is, at this moment, in the loving Arms of his Savior.

At the same time I heard the news about Joel, another of my old colleagues was undergoing brain surgery to remove a fist-size tumor from his brain.

As I sat in my garage, (don’t know how or why, but it has become my ‘quiet place’) absorbing the news about Joel, Gayle came to relay the message that Wylie had survived surgery, and was doing remarkably well, something I credit entirely to our prayers and God’s faithfulness.

(Not to diminish the skill of the surgeons, but we PRAYED for skillful surgeons)

I hate death. I mean, it hate it with a personal hatred. I hate the concept of it. The idea of all that a person is, all that he knows and can contribute, being lost to the world forever, well, that’s a heavy thought.

Death steals that repository of knowledge, wisdom and goodness that exists in those we love away from us. Death leaves only a memory and an empty hole that no other person can ever completely fill. That is why we pray that death might pass our loved ones by.

When God grants our prayers, as He did in Wylie’s case, it is to demonstrate His love for us and His power over death, but I suspect He does so reluctantly, since He understands what we are asking of Him. (We’ve never seen what we are praying somebody OUT of.)

The words that Paul recorded in 2nd Thessalonians 4:13 came to mind: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

Although I HATE death, I don’t fear it.

I hate what it does to the families of those left behind, and I hate the sense of loss that never goes away. But I don’t fear it for myself, neither do I feel sorry for those who meet death secure in the knowledge that to be ‘absent from the body’ is ‘to be present with the Lord’. (2nd Corinthians 5:8)

I realized that when I heard the news about Joel, knowing the suffering he was in, and certain that he was safe in the arms of Jesus, I felt more joy and relief than I did sorrow. I was only sorry for myself, and for Joel’s family and friends who will miss him, but not for Joel.

And when I heard that Wylie had pulled through surgery, I was relieved for Renea and for the kids, for myself, and for Wylie’s friends, but not really as much for Wylie himself. After all, he had already gone through the hard part.

Now, someday, he’ll have to do it again. (While I don’t fear BEING dead, I confess to being apprehensive about how I am going to GET that way.)

I remember how I looked at death before I came to Christ. I feared it. I didn’t hate it for its destructive nature, or how it would affect my own loved ones; I feared it for myself. Most people I know who don’t know Christ fear death that same way.

It occurred to me how irrational that actually is. If there is no God, then death would be merely a ceasing of existence, with nothing to fear.

But, if Christianity is true, then those who do not believe SHOULD fear death, since the fate of believers and non-believers is quite different.

But unbelievers fear death while denying God’s existence, whereas for saved believers, death is the beginning of an eternal existence in the presence of God.

The fear of death is the evidence of the existence of God. All spiritual creatures recognize that their spirits are eternal and that they will go through judgment of God, based upon their adherence to the laws of God. The Bible says that knowledge of God’s existence and the eternal nature of the human spirit has been revealed to all people.

“He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiates 3:11)

Other versions translate this verse; “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Human beings know instinctively that there is an eternal element to their existence, whether they attempt to rationalize it away or not. The proof is in the irrational way unbelievers fear death.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

The Rise and Fall of the Blogosphere

The Rise and Fall of the Blogosphere
Vol: 36 Issue: 16 Thursday, September 16, 2004

The mainstream media has been rocked back on its heels, having discovered a place it was evidently unaware existed.

News organizations like the New York Times, CNN and, in particular, CBS News, are, for the first time in their existence, being forced to give account by the New Media nicknamed the ‘blogosphere’.

At this point in their development, blogs are best described as web sites that are updated frequently, most often with links to other sites and commentary on the other sites content.

The content of blogs combine musings, memories, jokes, reflections on research, photographs, rants, and essays, though we would argue that it is not the nature of the content that defines it.

Blogs can be devoted to only one topic, or they can reflect what the author is interested in at any given time.

They can have one author authors of blogs are known as bloggers or multiple authors. Your Omega Letter is a blog, as are our forums, and we are, collectively, bloggers ourselves.

What characterizes blogs are their form and function: all posts to the blog are time-stamped with the most recent post at the top, creating a reverse chronological structure governed by spontaneity and novelty.

In the blogosphere, there is no editorial hierarchy, no institutionalized mentality, and no overarching agenda.

When Dan Rather presented his forged documents to support CBS’s ‘expose’ into George Bush’s National Guard record, Rather did what he had always done.

He produced and broadcast a highly polished segment in which the argument was framed to its advantage, with the facts favorable to CBS cherry-picked for presentation while annoying contrary facts were ignored.

Rather carefully edited the comments of ‘experts’ — appointed by CBS — and packaged it all together, confident that the rest of the mainstream media would pick up the story and run with it.

And run with it they did. The next day, every media organization from the New York Times to Fox News reported the story as fact. Nobody questioned the heir to the mantel of Edward R Murrow and Walter Cronkite.

But nobody told the bloggers that Dan Rather was without error. So they did what nobody else in the mainstream media did. Fact checked.

Within hours of Rather’s broadcast, genuine experts from the four corners of the earth fact-checked Dan Rather and discovered within hours the flaws that CBS was unable to discover after ‘four years of investigating the story’, as CBS claims it did.

Noted a Washington Times editorial; “Who knew that there are experts who specialize just in the history of IBM selectric typing balls, or the kerning capacity of computer printing (the carrying of the tail in the letter “y” under the space of the preceding letter, as in the word “my.” Typewriters can’t do it; computers can.) “

Who knew, indeed? Who would have dreamed that there were millions of smart people all over the world sitting at their computers, ready to join the quest for the truth?

Assessment:

Former CBS executive Jonathan Klein expressed the media’s disdain for web loggers when he blurted out in exasperation, “You couldn’t have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances at 60 Minutes and a guy sitting home in his living room in his pajamas.”

Klein is correct. The checks and balances at 60 Minutes are no match for the collective wisdom of millions of bloggers scattered in every country on the planet. So in his view, something must be done to protect the world from the influence of armies of unregulated, pajama-clad thinkers.

So it is no surprise that most of the mainstream media, like most governments, favor ways to censor the internet, but hasn t been able to figure out exactly how to do that yet.

The UN is working on a way to internationalize the internet under its supervision. The EU is working on something similar that they can control. Most Arab countries, and totalitarian and near-totalitarian states, like China, for example, have developed methods of censoring internet traffic and ways to prosecute offenders.

According to Scripture for the last days, when the antichrist comes to power, he will exert total control over the flow of information to the degree he will be able to convince the world that he is a god.

That would include controlling the internet — and the power of the blogosphere, as demonstrated by the CBS story, is worrying more people than just the mainstream media elite.

If Dan Rather can’t get away with a lie, how can the Kremlin or the Chinese politburo or European or American propagandists hope to overcome the experts out there in the blogosphere? You can bet that there are meetings going on at the highest levels of government, world wide, discussing the problem of an ‘unregulated internet’.

But, for now, the internet blogosphere remains relatively free to expose the truth despite the best efforts the world’s premiere mind control experts — both government and media — can devise.

This ‘blog’ that you are now reading is also being read by subscribers and readers in every corner of the earth where the internet reaches. And the internet reaches into any place where there is a computer and a telephone connection.

With the advent of satellite phones and wireless technology, the internet can reach into the deepest darkest corners of the Dark Continent, into the Land Down Under and to the top of Mount Everest. And for now, it is still widely unregulated.

But the handwriting is already on the wall for the internet and the blogosphere. It is become too powerful to be allowed to remain in the hands of ‘guys sitting at home in their pajamas’ — and deprived of all those checks and balances that allowed CBS to attempt to influence a presidential election by the selective use of forged government memos.

Matthew 24:3 records, “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Jesus went on to tick off a list of signs of His impending return, including deception, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, persecution, false prophets, rampant sin, etc. (24:4-13)

All this stuff has topped the news headlines for the bulk of my adult lifetime.

The Omega Letter is a blog dedicated to training up and preparing Christians to give the ‘reason for the hope that is in you’ and to equip you with answers to the skeptics as you preach the Good News of the Gospel for the last days.

As such, there are already places, like in some Arab countries, where weblogs like the Omega Letter are already illegal.

Our 2Checkout merchant provider refuses to allow the Omega Letter to receive donations through its merchant portal because its rules forbid processing donations for groups whose content is illegal in countries where 2Check does business.

Consequently, pressure is being brought to bear on us, via our finances, in an effort to either shut us down, or alternatively, to force us to modify our content. (And it is having an effect — revenue for the period since 2Check shut down donations is down more than 50% from the month before. There are a lot of creative ways to stifle bloggers, if one looks hard enough to find them.)

The internet has only been around for the last decade or so, and its unregulated power has already become a threat to the existing order of things. Its time as an unregulated free thought zone is therefore limited.

In light of THAT fact, Jesus’ next comment takes on a new sense of urgency:

“And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (Matthew 24:14)

Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots

Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots
Vol: 36 Issue: 15 Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Pretty much every time I publish a column in which I note that the Bible is silent insofar as any mention of a fifth, overarching superpower resembling America, I get a flood of emails telling me where I went wrong.

Invariably, they identify the entity called Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots as the United States of America. One reader emailed yesterday, saying;

“O come on!! America is talked about in the Bible, New York city gets nuked (Revelation 17 &18). How else did you think the anti-christ takes over the world economy,w/ his new system..the mark of the beast to buy & sell.

One key to this (there are many) is Rev: 18 verse 11 &12. The seventh and eighth have not risen to power but in Revelation 13 it explains a little about them and the mark of the beast. Please open your eyes it’s all so plain to see!”

The problem here is one of wishful thinking. I would very much like to find evidence of America in the Scriptures for the last days, since I am in America and these ARE the last days. If America plays no role in the Tribulation, and we can see the Tribulation just over the horizon, then logic dictates something happens to America before it begins.

Since, on this side of the Tribulation, America is the world’s undisputed superpower, making it ‘go away’ (as the Bible indicates that it must) suggests that ‘somethng’ is ALSO sitting just over the horizon, somewhere before the kickoff to the Tribulation Period. And it must be pretty bad.

For that reason, I wish my correspondent was right; I wish it was, ‘all so plain to see’ America in the end times scenario.

What IS plain to see is that America ISN’T Babylon the Great.

Assessment:

Insofar as Mystery Babylon is concerned, the Scriptures identify it as Rome. An examination of relevant passages lend themselves to no other defensible conclusion:

“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. ” (Revelation 17:7)

That is the political ‘beast’ first described by the Prophet Daniel and identified in Daniel 9:26 as the ‘prince of the [Roman] people’ who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.

Political Rome collapsed in the 5th century, but its political influence remained, carried on through the papal church headquarted in Rome. That isn’t ‘anti-Catholic bashing’ it is secular history.

During the height of its power, no European king could take his throne without Papal approval. Those who dared defy the Pope’s power faced the Pope’s armies.

The power of the papacy waned, but continued to directly influence European politics until the mid-part of the 20th century, when that power began to shift away from religious Rome and back toward the political center, codified by the 1957 treaty of Rome.

As a continuous power, one could argue that Rome was, then wasn’t, yet is.

But one could NOT argue credibly that Rome’s influence ever ceased to be felt throughout the history of the Church Age.

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

The modern city of Rome is famed throughout the world as the ‘City on the Seven Hills’.

Of ‘Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the abominations of the earth’, the revealing angel tells us this:

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Revelation 17:7-10)

Speaking of the antichrist, he is identified with Rome in the next verse as, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”

Speaking of the Mother of Harlots situated on ‘seven mountains’ the angel says “the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18)

In John’s day, and in the centuries that have passed since, no other city could have been said to have reigned over the kings of the earth EXCEPT Rome.

Revelation Chapter 13 makes it clear that the government of the antichrist is both political, and religious. There are two beasts of Revelation 13 — the first is the political beast, the one we call the antichrist, who appears in 13:1 and a second beast, called the False Prophet, who makes his appearance in verse 11.

The Babylon depicted in Revelation 17 is the religious system of antichrist, which is headquartered on the ‘city on the seven mountains’ The Babylon of Revelation 18 encompasses both the religious and political systems, as embodied by the literal city.

Revelation 18:3 refers to the religious Rome that existed between the fall of the Roman Empire and the mid 20th century. That is a reference to the religious, rather than secular, is confirmed by the next verse, which says, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (4)

If this is a reference to America, or any political entity, what sense does THAT make? How does one ‘come out of America’? Move? Where? The Bible doesn’t say, so why bring it up?

Because one CAN ‘come out’ of a religion, and since God frames it by saying, “that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues,” the context makes it clear He is referring to a religious system, not a political city.

Those who equate Babylon to America point to Revelation 18:9; “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,” arguing this must be New York City because “all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!”

It MUST be New York City, because it is a ‘great city’ whose burning can be witnessed from sea, they argue. It MUST be America because America is the great whore who produces most of the porn, consumes most of the cocaine, and is the richest country the world has ever known.

America has existed 226 years. It has been a superpower for 45 years and the world’s premiere superpower for 15 years. Rome’s power has continued to influence global politics and religion without interruption for the last two thousand years.

In additon, Mystery Babylon is called a ‘mystery’ to denote the spiritual nature of the political system. It is a reincarnation of the Babylonish counterfeit system of Nimrod, Semiramus and Tammuz — essentially a goddess cult with a father god figure and a child god figure. America acknowleges only a generic ‘God’.

The city ‘Babylon’ that is destroyed in Revelation 18 gives another important proof that Babylon can’t be America.

The Roman colliseums were filled with captives from the known world fighting as gladiators. When the gladiator games ended, then the slaughter of the Christians would begin. The Apostle Paul was martyred in Rome.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (18:24) One can argue America is no less blood-soaked, but one can hardly characterize America’s ‘victims’ as ‘prophets’ or ‘saints’. (Mostly they were Indians, Mexicans and African blacks taken as slaves)

The Bible says there are four spheres of world power in the last days. Gog-Magog, the revived Roman Empire of antichrist, the Kings of the East and the Kings of the South. Since there is no reference to America, one person’s guess is as good as another’s as to where she might have gone.

Rome played a central role in the history of civilization from John’s day until this very moment. It is about twelve miles from Rome to the coast of the Meditterranean Sea.

Occam’s razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). His principle of logic states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.

Put more simply, Occam’s Razor dictates the most obvious answer to a given question is usually the correct one. America doesn’t sit on seven hills. It hasn’t exerted continuous global influence throughout Church history.

And America isn’t drunken with the blood of the martyrs. One can’t say the same about Rome in either its secular political or religious incarnations.

I wish it WERE so simple.

A New Gold Standard For Mass Delusion

A New Gold Standard For Mass Delusion
Vol: 36 Issue: 14 Tuesday, September 14, 2004

It is hard to overstate how significant the most recent example of how far the Left will go in order to defeat George W. Bush is to the Bible’s overall Big Picture. Election 2004 has set a new gold standard against which all efforts at strong delusion will be measured in the future.

Obviously, I am referring to the CBS report by Dan Rather that was bolstered by documents from the era that ‘proved’ George Bush received preferential treatment to get into the Texas National Guard. The ‘story’ has been hashed and re-hashed by the Democrats so often that it is beginning to have the desired effect.

Despite a complete lack of evidence to the contrary, some people are beginning to think that where there is smoke, there must be fire.

First, an overview of the case as its been made so far. . .

According to the Democratic talking points on the subject, George Bush volunteered for the National Guard as a way to avoid serving in Vietnam.

Service in the National Guard then, by implication, was an escape route for sissies who weren’t able to completely dodge the draft, but still didn’t want to get shot at. The Democrats have made dozens of references to George Bush ‘staying home where it was safe’ in the Texas National Guard.

The National Guard, being composed of other sissies who wanted to avoid military service, wouldn’t take just anybody — you had to have connections. But George Bush had connections.

So George Bush was able to insinuate himself into the Texas Band of Sissies as a cowardly jet pilot ‘defending Texas from Oklahoma’ while John Kerry volunteered to command a SWIFT Boat in Vietnam where he won five medals in under four months.

But that’s not all! Even as a sissy fighter pilot, George Bush ‘dishonored the Guard’ because nobody can produce records of what he did during his final months service with his Guard unit in Alabama.

Having thus ‘dishonored’ the Guard, Bush used his ‘connections’ to pad his service record, force his commanders to write nice things about him in his fitness reports, and then ignore the fact he went AWOL so he could get an honorable discharge anyway.

So far, the White House has not rebutted the charges, other than to provide documentary evidence that he was paid for making his meetings and was honorably discharged.

Bush hasn’t provided a list of live witnesses who remember serving with him, which to the Left, constitutes proof he was AWOL. John Kerry has his Band of Brothers to attest to Kerry’s courage and leadership in Vietnam. Where is George Bush’s Band of Sissies to prove he made his commitment as a Weekend Warrior?

Anyway, that about sums up the charges — until last Wednesday. That’s when Dan Rather focused the unblinking eye of CBS News on new documents that ‘proved’ the case I just outlined.

According to them, Bush DID receive ‘preferential treatment from above’, disobeyed direct orders, and failed to fulfill his Guard obligation. If true, asserts the Left, then Bush SHOULD have been called to active duty to fulfill his military obligation.

Now its time to tie the bow around it. IF the charges are true, THEN Bush should have been called to active duty, but because he wasn’t, George Bush is a deserter. Therefore, John Kerry is still a hero.

Have you got all that? Good. But wait, there’s more!

The authenticity of the documents hasn’t merely been questioned. They’ve been demonstrated to be forgeries about as conclusively as can be imagined.

Apart from being typed using equipment that didn’t exist, it mentions pressure to ‘sugarcoat’ Bush’s record being applied by an officer 18 months after he retired, and all of the ‘experts’ used by CBS to ‘verify’ what the documents suggested have now said they believe them to be forged.

But CBS continues to stand by its ‘story’ and so do the Democrats. The President of the United States is a liar and coward who deserted even his sissified version of military service.

A trip through the liberal wing of the media today is instructive; here’s one headline I grabbed at random to make a point.

“Service Record Gaps Now Come Back to Haunt Bush”

Assessment:

I said at the outset how significant the whole Bush Guard thing is to the Bible’s overall Big Picture. It is a picture of strong delusion on a massive scale, dwarfing even the delusion that Al Gore won Florida in 2000 and should now be in the Oval Office. As I said, it sets a new gold standard.

Let’s go back to the beginning and dissect it and see what all the hubbub is really about. To begin with, the National Guard as a Band of Sissies. How delusional is that? The Vietnam War was fought by as many reservists and Guardsman as it was by regular troops.

Being in the Guard or reserve was no guarantee of Stateside service in 1970, anymore than it is today. George Bush joined the National Guard. John Kerry joined the US Naval reserve. It is a distinction without a difference.

To accept the delusion, one must accept that the National Guard is not military service, but a refuge from REAL military service. And that requires pretending Guardsmen now fighting in Iraq are really sissies, despite protests of ‘support for our troops’.

To accept the delusion, one must accept that being a FIGHTER PILOT in the Texas National Guard was the coward’s way out. The difference between the dangers faced by a fighter pilot in combat and not in combat is measured by the number of seconds a fighter pilot is actually in battle.

Six pilots in Bush’s Guard unit were killed in training. It is delusional to believe Bush became a pilot to avoid danger. Why didn’t he become a public relations officer? Or a recruiter? He allegedly had the ‘conncections’.

It is delusional to believe that John Kerry ‘volunteered’ to go to Vietnam. He joined the US Naval Reserve for the same reason he alleges Bush joined the Guard.

In his own autobiography, Kerry admits he ‘fought tooth and nail’ to avoid combat, accepting the SWIFT Boat assignment because his assigned unit was nowhere near the combat zones. He lamented his transfer into combat to his biographer.

It is delusional to believe that John Kerry FORGOT he wasn’t in Cambodia, after having said from the Senate floor in 1986 that it was a moment that was “seared — SEARED into my memory.”

It may have been thirty-five years ago — now. But Kerry’s comments were made 15 years after the alleged incursion. One would have to be greatly deluded to accept that memories get clearer with the passage of time.

It is delusional to accept that the documents are forgeries while still using their contents to ‘prove’ the delusion is true. In this delusion, the proportional fonts used in the alleged documents were possible, (if one used a machine costing $15,000.00 at the time) therefore, the factual errors are insignificant and the documents are therefore authentic enough to constitute ‘supporting evidence’.

Dan Rather himself made that argument, saying of his original report, “even if the documents are suspect, the preponderance of evidence” supports the conclusions they would ‘prove’, if only they were true, so therefore, they are. Delusion squared!

To keep the delusion alive, Senator Tom Harkin, when asked about the forgeries, replied, “This is about George Bush getting special privileges. This is about George Bush not doing his duty in the National Guard and then lying to the American people about it.”

This is clearly delusional. It is about forged documents being defended by an elected lawmaker. What the forgeries say are immaterial — they are FORGERIES! (This guy helps write our nation’s laws)

Watching the Democratic operatives on the Sunday talk shows defend the allegations despite the discredited evidence was a study in delusional thinking.

So, here we find all the elements, together in one place. Media manipulation. Forgery. Denial. Lies. Defending lies. Repeating lies. Defending repeating lies by calling the other side liars. Defending the media’s right to tell lies, provided they are about the Right Side.

And to a significant plurality of American voters, this is acceptable!

According to the Bible, when the antichrist is ready to ascend to power, he will do so through what Paul describes as a strong delusion.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11) At the Rapture, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from influence, (v 7) allowing people to believe what they always wanted to believe anyway — that man is God.

The mechanism of deception is the skillful use of propaganda. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2:9-10)

Election 2004 makes it clear that strong delusion has come of age. The only thing that remains is the evacuation of the Holy Spirit’s earthly ministry (and those He indwells) and then, “that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” to take center stage.

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6)

The Rapture!

Did God Create Evil?

Did God Create Evil?
Vol: 36 Issue: 13 Monday, September 13, 2004

Did God Create Evil?

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

If God is the Creator of all things, then where does evil come from? And why is it that God simply doesn’t banish its existence from the universe? If God is omni-everything, how can it be that He must BATTLE against it?

These are seemingly unanswerable questions, giving rise to the atheist’s creed; “If your God is love, I see no evidence of that attribute in creation. All the death, disease, pain and suffering seems to be out of place if this God of yours is love. Surely an all-powerful God could, and a loving God would, eliminate all evil. Since evil exists, then no such God exists.”

When someone states that they do not believe in God because a good God would not allow evil, they make a fatal error in logic. The recognition of ‘evil’ arises from the logical conclusion some acts are ‘right’ and some are ‘wrong’.

How do we know which acts are morally right or wrong? It is discerned on the basis of a moral law: a universal sense that certain states of affairs are right and others are wrong.

For example, no one could seriously argue with the statement that it is better to love a child than to torture it. What is the basis of this moral sense? Some would argue that it is based on cultural customs or traditions.

In some Islamic cultures, it is acceptable to wantonly kill infidels, or murder women for violating Islamic honor. Under the Taliban, Afghan women were routinely taken to the soccer stadium and publicly executed for ‘crimes’ like failing to wear a burkha. Yet Islam has a strict moral code, nonetheless.

The point is that social customs, attitudes, traditions or feelings cannot determine a universal sense of right and wrong. A universal sense of right and wrong can only come from a source outside ourselves. The recognition of a universal moral law is by default a recognition of a moral Lawgiver.

Logically, using the existence of evil to prove there is no God is like using a Dell computer to prove there is no such thing as a computer.

C.S. Lewis said that, “… evil is God’s megaphone to a non-believing world. Evil speaks of moral law. Moral law demands a moral Lawgiver, and it is He that we call God!”

Human beings confuse ‘good’ and ‘evil’ with ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ all the time. It is that confusion that fuels the ‘a good God wouldn’t create evil’ argument.

‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ are human moral issues. ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are OUTCOMES, and are entirely in the Hands of God.

“And we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Consider the most ‘evil’ events to befall the earth during the 20th century. World War One was certainly evil. (But it put Jerusalem in British hands after 400 years of Ottoman rule)

World War II was even more incomprehensibly evil. Adolph Hitler’s madness resulted in the attempted genocide of the Jewish race and the deliberate destruction of more than twelve million innocent people in the gas chambers.

(But the subsequent cry of ‘never again!’ by the Holocaust’s survivors resulted in the restoration of Israel to the Land of Promise just in time for it to reclaim Jerusalem in this generation)

As Joseph stood before his brothers who had sold him into slavery in Egypt, he comforted them by saying, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)

What Joseph’s brothers did was SELL THEIR OWN BROTHER INTO SLAVERY. Does that qualify as an ‘evil’ act? They MEANT it for evil, but God used it for good.

A knife, used to stab a man in the stomach in a barfight, would be an instrument of evil. The SAME knife, used to remove an appendix and save a life in an operating theater, would be an instrument of good. It is the OUTCOME of its use that characterizes it as ‘good’ or evil’. In either case, it remains a knife.

God created the universe to function according to the laws of physics. It is so delicately balanced that one of those laws demands that ‘every action must result in an equal and opposite reaction’, for example.

God created us to have a personal relationship with Him. But in order for this to be possible, we have to be able to choose NOT to want one back, or the choice would be meaningless.

I cannot experience love from you unless you have the capacity to do otherwise. If you have the capacity to not love me, and you choose instead to love me, then that choice has validity.

On the other hand, I can program my computer to greet me by telling me it loves me. Of course, I haven’t done so because it would be meaningless. My computer cannot love me. It has no choice — it would ‘love’ Saddam Hussein if I programmed it to.

And I cannot love it because it cannot love me back.

That makes the capacity for evil — to choose NOT to love, necessary to that choice TO love. And without the choice to love, our existence would have no meaning — secular OR spiritual.

Suppose God did eliminate evil from creation? For God to eliminate evil, He would have to eliminate our capacity of choice and thus our capacity to do both evil and good. And such a world is inferior to the one we have: one where love is possible, despite its inherent evil. What kind of God would do this? Only one kind. A God of love.

In order that we might not suffer the penalty of our evil choices (sin), He, like a loving Father, paid the penalty for our sins. He allowed his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be murdered on a Roman cross — arguably the most evil act in the history of the universe.

But this act of great evil gave rise to the greatest act of love in the universe: paying the penalty for the wrong choices we make, which are the result of the way He created us in the first place!

Right and wrong are human moral choices arising out of our human moral code. Whether they result in good or evil outcomes is up to God according to His plan. Our job as Christians is to trust Him. God knows what He is doing!

The greatest evil in the history of the universe resulted in the greatest Gift ever bestowed on mankind.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Special Report: Salvation 101

Special Report: Salvation 101
Vol: 36 Issue: 12 Sunday, September 12, 2004

Special Report: Salvation 101

I have a good friend who was once a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but who left that cult after having encountered a well-informed Christian who proved to him that the New World Translation (the Bible used by Jehovah’s Witnesses) had significant differences from other Bible translations.

Unfortunately for my friend, while he left the cult, he took what he had learned from it with him. One of the most difficult concepts for him to grasp is that of salvation by grace.

“But, Jack, it just CAN’T be that simple,” he’ll argue, before pointing out all the verses he learned from the JW’s that ‘proved’ salvation is limited and dependent upon behavior. My friend believes in God and Jesus Christ, and tries hard to live right because of that belief, but he still can’t bring himself to trust Jesus Christ alone for his salvation.

Instead, he trusts to his own good works, in spite of the fact that he knows (and admits) to sinning every day, just like everybody else does.

We’ve talked and talked — for hours at a time — while he wrestles with the concept of salvation by grace through faith. I am sure everybody has a friend like mine, so I thought it might be good to revisit Salvation 101 — maybe you’ve run into some of the same questions.

The Omega Letter is aimed at those who have already grasped the simplicity of salvation, and generally focuses its attention on the ‘strong meat’ of doctrine.

For example, we’ve examined the nuts-and-bolts answers to hard questions like, “Why did Jesus have to die?” and “would a loving God send people to hell?” etc., but not so much with the ‘milk issues’ that confound the seekers and confuse the lost.

Many people feel they have fulfilled the second commandment of God, in loving other people, but to a large degree, they have ignored the first and most important commandment – to love God with all your heart. We are created in the Image of God to love God and love one another.

If we choose to ignore God and not love Him, we are rejecting Him, and as such will not be forced to live with Him in heaven, but will be eternally separated from Him and His children (those who love Him).

Many churches do good things, and many people do good works in their church and in their community. However, without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, these works are “dead works,” often done to glorify ourselves and gain esteem within the church.

A person cannot have a personal relationship with God apart from Jesus. There is a gap that exists between God the Father and sinful humanity.

God is completely holy and cannot tolerate the presence of any sin. But we are all selfish sinners. To redeem us, He had to become ONE of us.

To do THAT, He had to physically enter sin’s ‘quarantine zone’ (the earth’s atmosphere), conquer sin in THIS world, thereby defeating sin’s universal stranglehold on humanity, and then, having qualified as an acceptable Sacrifice, paid the eternal penalty for sin on our behalf.

When Adam sinned, God cursed him, saying, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)

God covered the first sin of Adam by clothing his nakedness with dead animal skins. Sin, by definition, introduced death into the world. “. . . without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus paid the penalty prescribed by Adam’s sin, just as every human being since Adam, but Jesus was WITHOUT sin. He was not under that penalty for Himself, so He could assume it on our behalf. Having defeated the cause of death (sin), He then defeated the penalty of sin (death) by His Resurrection.

My friend, (and everyone else who ever sinned, even once) have not defeated sin personally, and remain under sin’s penalty of death. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

But death is in two parts. The physical death, and what the Bible calls the ‘second death’ eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

And so is the judgement. The believer’s sins were judged at the Cross, and the penalty for them has already been paid.

For those who trust to their own good works, there is a second judgement before the Great White Throne, where they will be judged according to ALL their works, good and bad.

There is no balancing scale. One sin earns eternal separation.

Our personal sin still earns the wages of physical death. We are spiritually and eternally saved, but the world in which we live remains under the curse. Sin has its consequences on the things which are in it.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Jesus sinless Sacrifice paid our eternal debt — there is nothing left to judge but our rewards. Nothing we could ever do could earn it, because it is a gift, freely offered to all men.

By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and committing to follow Him we are declared righteous by God on the basis of our faith.

Therefore as new creatures, recreated by the Blood of Christ, wearing His righteousness instead of our own, we are able to come before the throne of God blameless and cleansed, reestablishing our relationship with God.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

It has NOTHING to do with religion. Paul was preaching to the Church at Galatia, where a heresy had crept in that said Christians had to be circumcised like Jews in order to prove they belonged to God.

Paul makes it clear that Christians are neither Jews nor Gentiles, but something entirely new.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

My friend’s difficulty in trusting Jesus is rooted in his failure to understand the ‘new creature’ for what it is. The Bible teaches that there are four spiritual creations.

First, God created the angels. Then, He created Adam in His Image and in His Likeness. At Adam’s fall, his spiritual state was changed, he became separated from God, and Adam fathered the spiritual creation known as the Gentile.

Abraham, through faith, fathered the first of another new spiritual creation. Isaac was the first spiritual Jew, the father of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.

Since then, every person is born either a spiritual Jew or a spiritual Gentile. The three spiritual creations of God, then, are angels, and then Jews and Gentiles, created in His Image, with an eternal spirit.

A descendant of Isaac can never become a Gentile. A Gentile can become a practicing Jew, but he remains a spiritual Gentile, since his eternal spirit remains estranged from God in any case.

Jesus introduced a new spiritual creation with His Resurrection. Those who trust Jesus are transformed into a totally new spiritual creation, personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and restored to the fellowship lost by Adam.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)

Having been MADE righteous and restored to fellowship, Christians are neither Gentile nor Jew. Nor are they angels, either literally or figuratively. The Bible calls them ‘saints’ — something entirely unique in the history of the universe. Jews and Gentiles are born what they are. Christians are REBORN into a ‘new birth’ — a new spiritual creation of God.

Our conversion is literal — we CONVERT into a new thing, like a moth becoming a butterfly. Just as a Jew can’t become a Gentile because he is of Isaac’s race, (and a Gentile can’t become a spiritual Jew because he isn’t), a Christian, once reborn, can’t revert back to either Jew or Gentile. And we never were angels.

Salvation is a permanent transformation from one kind of spiritual creation to a different kind of spiritual creation.

Why is this so important to a study on basic Salvation 101?

As I said, it is the misunderstanding of the new creature that is a stumbling-block to my friend. He sees Christians the way the world does. Sinners, not saints.

He understands the ‘wages of sin’ part, kinda grasps the ‘free gift’ part, but not quite, but can’t get understand how Christians can still sin and confidently expect to go to heaven when they die? Because they DO sin, even though they try not to.

One cannot sin one’s way back into an old creature that has, according to Scripture, “passed away.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17) Paul says the old creature is dead. Only God can raise the dead, not an act of man. Even a sinful act.

The Bible says to repent (literally, change your mind), realize your sin will take you to hell, and that there is nothing you can do about it except to trust Jesus’ promise that by trusting Him for your salvation as the Lord of your life, you are now a new creation of God.

It’s so simple. So simple, in fact, that there are millions upon millions who just can’t get it. Paul spoke of being “wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16) not the least of which is the belief that our works contribute to our salvation.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1st Corinthians 1:27)

Trusting Jesus means exactly that. Jesus did it ALL. It’s Salvation 101.

Abortion: Two Lies Equal One Truth

Abortion: Two Lies Equal One Truth
Vol: 36 Issue: 11 Saturday, September 11, 2004

This morning I received an email a reader who took exception to my recent column, “Some Choice” and criticizing me for being insensitive to the plight of women who have had abortions in the past.

I will address that point a little later, but first, I wanted to address her comments about those who oppose abortion as being, ‘Christian moral bullies’.

A woman has a right to choose for herself, up to the moment of conception. From that point forward, her ‘choice’ results in the death of another human being.

I don’t see how any amount of rhetoric can alter that essential fact.

Or how it is assuming the role of ‘judge and jury’ to state the obvious. Unless there is another ‘truth’.

I don’t know how to state in a nice way that ‘pro-choice’ means, by definition, a woman’s right to choose to kill her baby.

The rest is semantic spin, and NOT Christian ‘moral bullying’. The tiny forms being destroyed (without anesthetic) — some long after they become viable outside the womb — are human babies.

How can that EVER be a ‘Christian’ rather than a human, observation? Was there ever a human who wasn’t a fetus?

There is no time from the moment of my conception until this moment I have ever been anyone except ME.

My potential existed from conception. Had I been injured in the womb, I would still bear the scars on my body today. Because it was MY body THEN, as well.

The same applies to you. And also to those innocents being murdered in the womb as a matter of ‘choice’. It is indefensible to me as a human being.

The fact the Bible confirms it is repugnant to God merely confirms what I know instinctively — not only Christians oppose abortion.

On a practical, secular level, there are 65 million fewer Americans to pay into Social Security than would exist without the abortion holocaust.

Most people with more than a decade to go before they can start collecting Social Security benefits have already done the math. It says there soon will be more retirees than workers and there will be no benefits for today’s workers to collect.

That is not the fault of any political administration. Abortion was made legal by left-leaning judicial activists who allowed themselves to be persuaded by similarly left-leaning legal arguments. Those legal arguments continue to conceal the simplest of truths from the seemingly wisest of jurists. We killed off an entire generation.

Which proves the truth of the Scripture; “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

Framing abortion in terms of Christians vs. the world is a propaganda tactic designed to blur the central issue of debate from the incomprehensibly inhuman practice of murdering our young into a myriad of us against them, right against left, liberal against conservative, Christian against secular sub-issues.

NOBODY talks about what abortion actually IS. Have you EVER considered why it is that showing a photograph of an aborted fetus is so repugnant that most Americans have never seen one?

Or why a film that documented an actual abortion would be condemned as ‘right-wing, pro-lifer propaganda’? What species of being do the ‘left-wing pro-choice opponents’ belong to? Is it different than that of an aborted fetus? It is propaganda most foul, but it has blinded millions.

Abortion is a sin against nature. There are very few mammals in all nature who routinely destroy their young. The Apostle Paul described it as being ‘without natural affection’, which he said was a sign of the last days. (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

Abortion is a sin against the person upon whom it is committed.

Abortion is a sin against the nation that has cost it the talents of an entire generation of Americans.

Abortion is a sin against God because the Bible says it is.

Assessment:

On the other hand, there are many, many women who had swallowed the lie that a fetus is merely a blob of unfeeling tissue, particularly since abortion is most prevalent among young women too young to realize the full consequences of their actions.

And many of the young women who had abortions in the past are no longer innocent school girls, but mature women who have since come to see it in a different light.

And the weight of their guilt is crushing, even after they have come to Christ. It is to them, and to those who would judge them, that I want to speak now.

You are NOT guilty.

That guilt is imposed and perpetuated by a Satanically-inspired lie designed to use that guilt to silence greater opposition to continuing the holocaust. That is one reason that abortion remains legal, despite the fact a majority of Americans oppose it.

Guilt is a powerful motivator for silence.

Deception is what the enemy does. Forgive is what God does. He forgives utterly, and completely. There is no residual guilt to those who have turned their lives over to Jesus.

The Bible says that: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

While abortion is a sin, it is as forgiven as any other sin at the Cross. God forgets it with a perfect forgetfulness. Both the sin, and the guilt, are covered by the Blood of Christ.

Psalms 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”

The sins of our past were committed by the old creature; “Therefore if any man [or woman -ed.] be in Christ, he is a new creature: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY, AND BEHOLD, ALL THINGS BECOME NEW.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

If a different spiritual creature was responsible, and ‘old things are passed away’, then how can the new creature bear its guilt?

When Jesus said from the Cross, “It is finished” in our English translations, it was translated from the Greek ‘Tetelestai’, literally meaning, ‘paid in full’.

Sin AND guilt.

Hebrews 10:17-18 says of our sins being remitted by His Sacrifice on the Cross; “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” There is no need for further offering for sin. Jesus did it all, for all time, and, truly, “it is finished.”

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right Hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. FOR BY ONE OFFERING HE HATH PERFECTED THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED.”

Paul writes in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

And Jesus Christ promised; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

There is NO unforgivable sin, apart from the deliberate choice to reject the free offer of pardon paid for — in full — by Jesus Christ at the Cross. Any who come to the Cross and ask Jesus to forgive them for their sins can be assured that, not only has He forgiven them from their sins and cleansed them from all unrighteousness, but He has also assumed the full measure of guilt associated with it.

So when one is Redeemed, even that sin is washed away, and that guilt is ‘put away’ forever.

“Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 21:8-9)

Just as abortion is a lie, so is the lifetime of guilt having an abortion often imposes. Guilt is what the enemy trades in. Don’t let the lie steal your victory!

No sin is above another in God’s economy, and Jesus does NOT lie. Rejoice in your victory in Him and forgive yourself, as He has forgiven you.

The enemy wants to keep you in chains of guilt. The Son came to set you free.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

”Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers?”

”Dumber Than a Bag of Hammers?”
Vol: 36 Issue: 10 Friday, September 10, 2004

When the Swift Boat veterans launched their first ad claiming John Kerry’s exploits in Vietnam were, at best, wildly exaggerated and at worst, a complete lie, the Kerry campaign launched a advertising counter-offensive.

But the ads never directly addressed any of the charges. Instead, they claimed the Swift Vets were really Republican operatives working at the behest of the Bush campaign. Kerry’s people were everywhere, telling everybody what a dirty trick it was. The Kerry website even has a page called “Fact Check” using John McCain to ‘prove’ that questioning his military service was ‘dishonest and dishonorable’.

It goes on to complain; “[the]Swift Vets Funded By Longtime Texas Bush Contributors” and they are ‘operated’ by the “Same People Who Tried to Discredit McCain in 2000.” Kerry’s ‘fact check’ page also alleges that, “Swift Vets Hire Private Investigator to Dig Into Kerry’s Past” and then proceeds to trash the reputations of each of the vets involved in the ads.

Needless to say, liberal news organs like CBS News and the New York Times were all over the story of how the Republicans were ‘trashing a war hero through a surrogate group’ (the Swiftees).

Indeed, the networks were so outraged that they began to dig, with the enthusiastic support of the Kerry campaign, into George Bush’s National Guard service. It was bizarre, to say the least.

The network concensus was that 250-plus Vietnam veterans are all liars and Republican flacks. And that impuning Kerry’s Vietnam service was a low blow.

On the other hand, the networks find nothing wrong with DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe’s announcing to the voters that George Bush was AWOL from the Guard — not because there was proof he was — but because Bush hasn’t proved he wasn’t.

The latest documents to ‘suddenly surface’ about George W. Bush s National Guard service allege that Bush did not quit flying jets in 1972 at the behest of or with the support of his commanding officers, as the administration has implied.

Rather, the documents purportedly show, Bush was suspended after flatly refusing to carry out a direct order to undertake a medical examination.

None of this information showed up in any of Bush’s other military records, all of which say he completed his National Guard service honorably and was given an honorable discharge.

A good deal of the latest round of this story is based on the accounts of a “once powerful Texas Democrat” who confesses to having “abused his power” to help get numerous young men positions in the Texas National Guard – including, he alleges, George W. Bush.

Former Texas Lt, Gov Ben Barnes is now an advisor to the Kerry Campaign, so we know his motives are pure and his claims are the unvarnished truth. According to the NYT:

“Mr. Barnes maintained, as he has since 1999, that he had contacted his friend who headed the Texas Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. James Rose, not at the behest of anyone in the Bush family, but rather a Houston businessman, Sidney A. Adger, a friend of the Bushes who has died.

“Yes, I called Rose to get George Bush into the Guard, I’ve said that,” Mr. Barnes said in his office last week in Austin. “I called Rose for other sons of prominent families, and I’m not proud of it now.”

What were the odds that the request to help Bush get into the Guard would have come from a family friend who was still living? The Times also fails to mention that the other witness to this tale General Rose, is also deceased.

So based on the confession of a once-powerful Democrat who admits to abusing his power and is now an advisor to the Kerry Campaign, and his accounts of 30 year-old conversations with two men are now dead and can provide neither verification nor refutation of the claim, the Times concludes that Bush used influence to get his Guard posting.

The next twist in the story comes in the form of a former lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Guard by the name of Bob Mintz.

Mintz says he doesn’t believe that Bush ever showed up for Guard duty during his Alabama assignment because he was looking for him and couldn’t find him.

Mintz had heard, “that Lieutenant Bush was a fellow bachelor who might like to party with him and other pilots. Col. Mintz said “neither he nor his friends ever saw Lt. Bush.”

“In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Mintz was pressed about his recollections and whether he might have missed seeing Mr. Bush, possibly because Mr. Bush was no longer flying at that point and was working in an office position. Mr. Mintz said repeatedly he never saw Lieutenant Bush,” the Times gleefully reported.

The Times also make mention of a series of memos featured on 60 Minutes broadcast. The memos, critical of Bush’s performance, are allegedly from the files of Bush’s National Guard Commander Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian.

Assessment:

The problem with the memos is that they display some fairly advanced typesetting — given when they were allegedly created. The most telling is the use of superscripting.

In the alleged ‘memos’ used to ‘prove’ Bush was less-than-honorable in his Guard service, the document refers to the 111th Guard Unit. The ‘th’ is superscripted (half sized fonts set halfway above the 111) — something that was impossible to do using standard typewriters in 1972.

At an anti-Bush website, ‘bushawol.com’ are a number of other documents, including one from Col. Killian (whose signature is also on the suspect documents) including a copy of Killian’s response to Bush’s request for discharge.

That document, presumably written on the same typewriter, does NOT have the superscripted ‘th’ beside the unit numbers 111 and 147. Instead, it renders them as all typewriters of the period did, as the 111th and 147th.

A memo from Aug. 18, 1973, according to CBS, has Killian saying Col. Buck Staudt, head of the Texas Air National Guard, is putting on pressure to “sugar coat” the evaluation of Lt. Bush. The memo continues, with Killian saying, “I’m having trouble running interference and doing my job.”

Except Col Staudt RETIRED in the year before, in 1972! How much interference can a retired officer exert? (We have a lot of former and retired military among our subscribers. What are YOUR thoughts? I look forward to reading them in the discussion forum.)

Clearly, this does more than suggest that the documents are forgeries. So, where is the outrage? Where are all the political leaders, letter writers and party activists, who just a few weeks ago were shouting as loud as they could that the evildoers better known as Republicans were behind the attack ads produced by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?

The mainstream media outlets continuing to cover the documents as though there was no question of their authenticity, even while reporting that there is.

When ABC News did finally report the suspected forgery, it did so first by repeating all the charges against Bush made in the documents as if they were legitimate.

Having read them all into the record one more time for the viewers, it admitted there ‘might’ be a problem with them — but not until they got one more airing in public.

As of yesterday, CBS continued to stand behind their story, with spokeswoman Kelli Edwards saying to the Washington Post, “As is standard practice at CBS News, each of the documents broadcast on ’60 Minutes’ was thoroughly investigated by independent experts, and we are convinced of their authenticity.”

A CBS web site story yesterday said, “60 Minutes consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic.”

On the CBS website this morning, CBS did acknowledge that the documents are questionable. Having done so, it defended the autheniticity of the memos, saying its experts who examined the memos concluded they were authentic documents produced by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian.

CBS then went on to outline the contents of the memos again — as if it had never admitted they were questionable in the first place!

The New York Times carried the story of the Bush memos the morning after the Wednesday night ’60 Minutes’ broadcast on its front page. The next day, the story about the memos possibly being forged was buried on the Times’ inside pages.

For its part, the Kerry campaign continues to damn the GOP for the Swiftees’ ads, while openly and officially questioning the Bush military record, as if one is fair game, and the other is not.

The Kerry campaign has built itself around three central elements; Kerry is a war hero and Bush is a coward who not only avoided service in Vietnam but didn’t even complete his Guard service; that Bush is a deceiver who misled the nation and Kerry will restore truth to the Oval Office; and finally, that the GOP is running a dirty smear campaign against Senator Kerry and the DNC is trying to ‘rise above’ negative politics.

The AWOL charges have been repeated by officials from the Democratic Party, the Kerry campaign, elected Democrats like Ted Kennedy, Charley Rangel and so on, not to mention directly from the candidate himself.

In contrast, the White House and the GOP talking heads have repeatedly denied questioning Kerry’s military record and have said that Kerry’s Vietnam service was ‘noble’.

There is no record of any administration official questioning Kerry’s military service. The Swiftees are not affiliated with the Bush campaign.

On the other hand, Ben Barnes, Terry McAuliffe and Ted Kennedy are actively working FOR Kerry. And officials with the Kerry campaign ARE directly connected to many of the 527’s attacking Bush, like moveon.org and others.

The Kerry campaign has concluded that the American electorate are dumber than a bag of hammers. Sadly, given the muted reaction to this latest outrage, they may be at least partly right.

According to Scripture, the most telling hallmark of the impending advent of the antichrist is world-wide deception. When asked what would be the signs of His return, the FIRST thing Jesus said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)

Speaking of the coming antichrist, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)

I am not saying that John Kerry is the antichrist. PLEASE don’t get that idea.

What I AM saying is this is a textbook example of how well propaganda works with people who are predisposed to a specific worldview.

There are people who want to believe George Bush was both a chicken for joining the National Guard and then went AWOL. (That George Bush was a fighter pilot whose test scores showed him to be highly skilled and motivated is irrelevant)

Suddenly ‘evidence’ appears to confirm that predispostion. The ‘evidence’ is in the form of questionable documents presented by a Kerry campaign advisor whose case is built around thirty-year old recollections of conversations with two now-dead officers.

Even while acknowledging the documents might be forged, the propagandists in the mainstream media continue to put the tainted and damning charges before the public as if they were concrete facts.

Those people also want to believe the John Kerry is a war hero, despite the testimony of every officer in his Vietnam chain of command to the contrary. Unlike the AWOL memos and recollections of uncorroborated 30 year-old conversations, the Swiftees are alive and testifying in person.

But their testimony is discounted with the same vehemence with which they defend the obvious lies about Bush, while calling BUSH the deceiver?

Up is down, and black is white. Truth is what people want to believe, not what is true.

“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)